Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rihanna had her 2 minute tattoo.

Rihanna covers up her Samomaori tattoo ...

It was unpretty anyway.

just sayin'

Next argument!

Pacific Conference coming up at the University of Waikato

The inaugural Kiwa's Colloquium is a gathering to advance Pacific Research. This year, the theme is T+10, or Talanoa plus 10 years with the aim to refocus on the application and implications of our research on the generations to come.
Kiwa's Colloquium, T+10 is to be held at the University of Waikato in the stunning Academy for Performing Arts. 
International keynotes, workshops on the application of Pacific research methodologies and postgraduate research panels and awards already set this unique event apart. However we have also chosen to bring in a Pacific artist to create an interpretive art piece to be constructed on the day, and to showcase a visual interpretation of Talanoa's value for Pacific research going forward. On top of all that, we have great food organised, entertainment and best of all - it's free!! Register via the UoW School of Maori and Pacific Development website.

Kiwa’s Colloquium, T+10 will be centred on three major, emerging challenges for the greater Pacific;
  • The Pacific and climate change; consideration of the many impacts including cultural continuance, land rights, climate migration, human rights, health, the role of technology and communications, the changing role of NZ/Aus, aid provisions, risks of conflict, food security etc

  • Pacific higher education; issues of access, support, relevance

  • Working for the Pacific; issues of local and regional unemployment, labour migration, pay-equity and occupational resilience in a changing world
Kiwa’s Colloquium, T+10 encourages the attendance of all who are interested in addressing these major contextual challenges for our future, and contributing towards real action through research and application.

Key highlights on the day -

Inspiring keynotes by national and international Pacific leaders including Dr. Malama Meleisea UNESCO expert in fostering a Culture of Peace in the Asia Pacific.
Honorary participation in the very first HIGH Talanoa researcher training session
An original art piece construction – a dramatic interpretation of the value of Talanoa

Eight students will compete for a number of T+10 research awards by presenting their research in 6 minutes to the symposium and an expert panel of judges.

Of course, it would not be a true Pacific event without good food and entertainment, and thanks to the funding of the University of Waikato, we are able to offer full registration at this exciting event for no charge! Kiwa’s Colloquium, T+10 will held at the impressive Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on November 12th from 8.45am to 5pm, followed by wine & nibbles at Momento Lakes.

Numbers are limited! 
Questions or Comments? Contact Lora Vaioleti:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Social Media and Grief (for me)

warning: This is a really depressing post and I suggest you don't read it if you want to be inspired or have a nice day.....chus walk away and quit now amigo.

Before social media, grief was kept in the confines of one's close circles.
Circles of real humans who speak, embrace, listen and grieve,
Together. In reality.

Today, I am plunged into grief constantly at the plight of a terminally ill child, losing a battle, battles, hope, losing something, everywhere. here, there,
...Someone/people who I have not met, but her/their suffering is on my screen, her last steps are played on vimeo and her last breath is reducing me to tears.
She is in America, she is in Samoa, she is in the UK, she is on Facebook.
I am here, far removed in terms of reality, but completely torn because it is grief magnified and hurting my soul here, alone in my insignificant corner of this world.
I, and no doubt every other person seeing this on facebook is affected by someone's loss, someone they'd otherwise not have known in real life, outside of social media.
This is the price we pay for being constantly connected. Our connections come with the highs and lows and losses of humanity. We can try to avoid it, or go past but at the end of the day, we are only human. 
We are emotive, flawed, curious, connected beings.

Then, just when I thought I had just kicked myself in the head for being a sookie, my older sister writes a note about our beloved sister, Salafai who left us too soon.

"I thought of you today and wept, I realised I don't have a picture of you. My mind is grasping at the pieces of memory I have with you! 
Forever in my heart Salafai!"

ARGH! - yes she is my most beautiful sister, tall, brown hair, gorgeous face, but she has been gone for so long. And I do not remember her much. She was just a girl. about to enjoy her teen years. Gone. 

But strangely, my grief was not for me. But rather, for the mother of Salafai and the sisters and brothers of Salafai, and the grandmother and cousins of Salafai who were robbed of her life and her being.

People say time heals, and they are probably right, but sometimes, it also comes in waves and it catches you unaware.

Now, I have no advice for you about all this...rather than to say, Get Help. Talk to someone. I am grieving about other people's grief and I need to snap out of it and get back to my riveting work.

...Yet another reminder about why I blog, to serve absolutely no real purpose,.

Thank you

Goddess of Makagaga

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Eh, ma'umau le vasa.

Tusa ua ou nofo nofo ma ou toe manatunatu,
Matua'i maimau lava o le taimi i ituaiga galuega fa'apenei.
Ua sau lava le fiu i lenei vaitaimi.
Ua makuai o'u lelava lava gagu, lelava ata ata ma foliga tausaafia ae leiloa a ou oti e fia pa'i atu le muli o lo'u seevae muli uumi i ona foliga.
...O aso faapenei, ou te fesiligia ai lava a'u filifiliga, pe o lava so'u sao. Paga lea, o le tali i le taimi nei o le aireken/leai/zilch.

Ua ala ona tupu nei manatu ona o le saputu mai o leo eseese - e tofu lava le leo ma le manatu, tele foi manatu e tatau ona velo i fafo, tele tupu ma perenise fia mamalu ae leai ni tagata e fa'atinoina galuega. Foliga mai e nofo nofo lava lea tupu, fa'aoso lona manatu - ae uma a'e, e nao si vale foi mai Salafai e faia galuega.
Ma'umau avanoa, ma'umau taimi, ma'umau le vasa - fai mai ai Vao.

O le tonu; o le fautuaga mo i tatou i lenei aso e fa'apenei:

Aua le valea umi.

Soifua ma ia manuia,

Leai se faia a ata ma le mataupu o lenei aso,..., Oi Aue...

All images are mine thanks, ask before you stillarations (:

Monday, October 28, 2013

This is a real fagogo being recorded.

This is how we tell our fagogo......this one is told by Yvonne(14) Yvette(16) Frenchy (38 hah) and I(29., pugi). 
We were camped outside, under the starry sky, with the sea roaring in a distance.
There was a fire burning in our midst, ignited with dried branches collected by the children.
Oh yes, the children that are roaming around with lit candles and burnt marshmallows.
We sit, cross legged around the fire, some of us, are slightly inebriated, but we are all here in our circle of laughs. 
Now, as the fire rages and smoke stinks up our facials, ....we start telling the fagogo,.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Book Launch - Politics, Propositions and Perspectives: Niue and Nation Hood. Maru Talagi.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mareko Island Creations - have the most gorgeous lavalavas/pareus

Go like their Facebook page and you can buy your own lavalava (:

I totally LOVE this baby here:

And here's some of my favourite pareus on sale (on Bookface):
All these are nice soft fabric and quite wide and long, so if you are very generous on my ba-donk and the very vivacious on the thighs...this will cover the whole region and beyond and so on....
Images below copied without permission

Talanoa Pasifika and Konai Helu Thaman

You, the choice of my parents 
You come clad in your fine mats and tapa cloth
Your brown skin bursting with fresh perfumed oil
Your eyes shining like stars in a clear night
YOU, the choice of my parents
You will bring them wealth and fame
With your western-type education
And second-hand car
But you do not know me, my prince
Save that I am first born and have known no other man
I fit your plans and schemes for the future
But you cannot see the real me
My face is masked with pretence and obedience
And my smiles tell you that I care
I have no other choice

And the dancing has begun
I see myself dying slowly
To family and traditions
Stripped of its will and carefree spirit
Naked on the cold and lonely waters
Of a strange family shoreline
Alienated from belonging truly

I love as a mere act of duty
My soul is far away
Clinging to that familiar ironwood tree
That heralds strangers
To the land of my ancestors
I will bear you a son
To prolong your family tree
And fill the gaps in your genealogy
But when my duties are fulfilled
My spirit will return to the land of my birth
Where you will find me no more
Except for the weeping willows along the shore
Professor Konai Helu Thaman

This poem makes my heart sing, weep, lament but also joyful. ...I could see that willow weeping in mind.
One of the poems that I actually enjoyed reading, reciting and trying to outdo each other (siblings) in looking the part of a young beaut about to fulfill her duties. I was the best one of course. 
Nah, not really, but CJ did use this as her talent....amazing!...will look for the pics to post next millenia. 

Now...speaking of Konai, she will be the Guest Speaker at the upcoming Talanoa Pasifika Conference in Brisbane.
20- 23 November 2013.
Like the Talanoa Pasifika Facebook page to find out more about the conference!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Excellent Taro for Sale at Atele Office, Samoa (Min of Ag)

Talofa all, if you are in Samunda or have family/business/friends here that would like to buy export grade taro. Please go to our Atele office or ring 23341. 

Please SUPPORT OUR SAMOAN FARMERS, unfortunately a U.S exporter backed out last minute and there's about 200 bags of excellent taro going for a good price.

Eh, ka fia ai kalo e....

Media and their dramas

I just saw another appeal on facebook by yet another media organisation seeking support.
But at this point in time, I feel (in only a way that a Goddess does), that they need to switch/get onto the times and understand and be involved with the changes.

- They need to be more involved in helping young people see journalism as a feasible career pathway, Is it?
- They need to be stronger advocates for Pacific media, not themselves or their personal agendas
- They also need to snap out of this self-obsession with anything Pacific and go mainstream
- They need to use their fundraised moolah to pay for a school leaver to get into a Journalism course somewhere, somehow....make a real effort to support their dying breed.

Journalism or Communications?

Communications is more attractive to students (and parents) than when we point out Journalism, but the trouble/or the great thing is that - once a student graduates with a Communications degree, they have a much wider choice of career options, that pays better than just being a journalist.

They can get into Management Communication, Marketing, Public Relations, they can be advertising executives, Arts administrators, Communications Managers, Events manager, Marketing managers, Media Producers, Media Researchers, PR Consultants and why settle for Journalism and more so, why settle for Pacific journalism where there are better avenues?


Monday, October 21, 2013


after a whirlwind of 5 hectic months of overtime, overcommitment, bending over backwards for the cause (and definitely NOT for pleasurable reasons),
I just hit this invisible wall last week and I realized - no one gives a damn..
so I am cutting back hugely on my enthusiasm and willingness to deliver.
It just get's f**k*n disheartening when I am overcompensating and the rest of the putz around me plough along.
also, I am exhausting my resources at no cost to the benefactors (galuega).
Does this sound like I am in the red light district? No but it feels like that sometimes, I feel like I get used, humped and then discarded...until they have a need and then use, abuse and drop until the next deadline.
so watch this 
That, is the line being drawn.
This is Me - I am on cruise control till next year., the chaos can wait.
(...and in the next episode, we learn about the Goddess being kulianad)

We have a saying in my kingdom called "E le koe valea umi fo'i gei fagau, o loa e ai k**."

In English "Time and tide waits for no man".


Goddess of Negative Energy Resources 

Luisa's Baby

If you live in New Zealand, most of you will be familiar with the tv programme Attitude, which is presented by  Tanya Black. I have seen some of her coverage of Samoan stories before, and everytim without fail, I ball my eyes throughout.
She is wheelchair bound and I love that through her stories, I forget that she has a disability because she is real and able and confident and personable.
She is a reminder that we have a loooooong way to go before we can confidently say we treat others with respect.
We. Do. Not.
Anyhow, this story about Luisa just made me cry (again). I have met Luisa a few times in my (young) life because she is involved with NGOs in Samoa....and in those times, she is a representative, a member of a bigger group, and is influential.
She changed my perspective about disability because she was not what I was told, she was not 'sick' or less able, or disadvantaged when she spoke....and when everyone listened. 
Now watching this episode, I wish everyone who saw this could help,...

Please support Luisa in her hopes of being part of her baby Lance's life.

Image copied without permission from AttituteLive Blog, Dan  Buckingham

I just saw a Facebook page set up with access to Bank account details for Luisa and Lance: 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

oh the pressure !

Normally I'm amazing and witty and fabulous.(cue: You all nod in agreement).
But then life happens and instead of dealing with it like a big girl, I am crawling to my blog to have a cry about it. 

The pressure on my shoulders right now is like, killing me.(cue: awwwww- poor Goddess - cry me a river).
I have been planning a gig for tomorrow - for the last several weeks,,,,right down to the second.
This morning, an integral group who would are extremely ...integral to the programme, bailed.
No explanations, just "we got a better gig".
I have been up since 6am looking for a replacement and its now 10:53am and awaiting some responses.
I am desperate. Everything has been printed and finalised and all.
I just want to punch someone in the face. real hard. like, BAM! and then toss them to the gutter.

Yup - amazing? nah. fabulous nope. Professional? Fuck that.

My message of today is:

- If you deal with groups of Pacific people, think of the worst scenario and celebrate when they actually turn up.
- Have a Plan B, even if the Plan A are committed right up to the 11th hour. (I had a Plan B who I said Thanks to last week because Plan A were fully on board hahah, keffers).
- Find another outset to express your disapointment instead of a blog where your friends and family know your identity. (Don't school me about it, shuddup).

But - like a Goddess I will TRY focus on the positives:
-The rest of the event is happening
- The weather will be fabulous.
- I will turn 30 tomorrow, not that anyone will notice because we will be dashing around like nutters running the event
- My problems are not as bad as Len Brown's, who did the dirty with a chicklet on a council table.

So really, not that bad, but still - OOOOFERKOOOOOMZ


Sunday, October 13, 2013

In a perfect world,

I would be doing one thing, making tuigas.
Not working.

I would also have an assistant who does menial tasks like threading the needle, refilling the bobbin, cutting the mirrors, making me English breakfast cups of tea and on her free time - raising my children. 
( After I wrote the above - I thought of Lani Wendt young and her grand plans for an assistant, hahah...same same, someone else to do the work!).

But in the meantime, it's business as usual, which in the last week has been about:
- making tuigas while caring for la Tuif and his ear infection, yelling at MM for breaking the mirrors, yelling at La Tuif to put down the hammer, making myself cups of tea and then forgetting where I left it, poking my hand with fecking needles, almost crying because I cant wind a f****ing bobbin so I have to manually do it(it's a brother machine and doesn't take the metal bobbin, but I can't find the plastic version, so right now I want to punch a Brother), and worse of all, I have to prepare for work.

Last week, I resorted to desperate measures, I paid my 13 year old niece cash to look after MM while I tried to deal with the rest of the above.
This is how it went "Yv, please. Can you look after MM?"
Yv "No! I prefer the boy! I don't mind the boy" (welcome to my dys family- they have favourites and say it in from of the kids faces. Tough- I tried calling Evo too and she also wanted the boy, not the girl). 
Me: "Please! I will pay you handsomely, and please tune down your volume when you're expressing your preferences the girl is right there you doko" 
Yv: cool! hand the cash over. Argh! 

Aue Maria e ma ke au makoi. 

Are you in Manux next Saturday and want to see some fabulous Pacific performers? Of course you do!

Who: Opeloge Ah Sam
Where: okay, I'm like, trying to cut and paste the info from the Manukay Symphony Orchestra page and it is disabled.
PR FAIL....whoever is running that page,..enable copying so we can tell the word about your event you dokos.
anyway....(sorry about that):

For those of you who may be in Auckland sometime next week or may have family in Auckland, we’d like to remind you that the WE ARE PASIFIKA CONCERT is onSaturday 19th October, 2013, 7-9pm. 

Come along and celebrate the talent of South Auckland’s Pasifika community, led by prominent Pasifika composer and conducter, Matatumua Opeloge Ah Sam. Some of you may recall Opeloge’s presentation on Talanoa in June, when he mentioned this exciting and first of its kind event.  We Are Pasifika will also feature soprano soloists Daphne Collins and Rejielo Paulo with international baritone Eddie Muliaumaseali’i; along with an outstanding line-up that includes members of Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island and Fijian church and school choirs.  Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear the beautiful songs and passionate rhythms of the South Pacific in a unique and exciting performance.

Check out the following links for further info:

Tickets cost $20 per adult and $5 per child/student if booked prior to the event.  Door sales are also available but will incur an extra charge.  Group discounts are also available.  For ticket purchases and enquiries, please contact Terry Spragg (Mrs) via Phone (09) 268 9911 or email:

Brought to you by your committed
Community Notices Department  

White Sunday and Samoa

Tomorrow is White Sunday - celebrated by many Samoans as the day for the children. 
The one day when most children get the best of everything, like new clothes, shoes and in most cases 2 changes of New clothes!. Children get to eat before the adults and recite biblical skits in front of the congregation, eat ice cream until you get sick and walk in a perfect line adorned in all things beautiful and white. 

We are not celebrating White Sunday this year. 

We celebrate our children every single day. They eat before us everyday and eat ice cream a lot. 

(Excepts from Confessions of a Samoan woman who has not been to church in a long long time and is looking for excuses *thank heavens my mom doesn't read my blog!*). 

Soifua ona o Iesu.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rihanna gets a Samoan tattoo in Auckland...yippeee!!!

She got them on her hand, very manaia.
It's already been described as Maori and tribal and other things, but from the photo, its mostly the simple faa vae gogo patterns (seagull). 

Already, I'm just laughing at the angry panties online crying foul over her getting tattooed, over the palagi tattooist etc etc and what not.

I say....AWESOME STUFF......Samoa is the home of tattooing. (I'm going to sound like that Greek dad in My Big Fat Greek wedding...Now the root word for Tattoo comes from the Samoan word of there! hahah).

And for all you Samoans who are crying foul about her getting tattooed? ... Get inked and over it.

Here's an example of headlines relating to the above tattooing: This one by Sarah Bull.

Post Update:
I got this comment from a Maori person, and because I am a fair person, I am posting it here...

A few things that need to be cleared up here.... 1.This tattoo is a Kirituhi (Maori tattoo). 2.The tools used are called Te Uhi (Maori tools). Te Uhi are never used to create any tattoo but Kirituhi, regardless. 3.The tattooist isn't European (Palagi) but a Maori called Inia Taylor who was introduced to him by Tiki Taane (Maori singer). 4.The word tattoo derives from the Tahitian word "tatau" not the Samoan word "tatau" though they both have the same meaning "to mark". 5.The pattern you have put up is used throughout the Pacific (inc. Maoridom) it's not restricted to Samoa and it has the same meaning to Maori. Just like the word "tatau" has the same meaning to Samoa. 6.Samoa isn't home to tattoos. Asians were tattooing even before Samoans arrived in Samoa. 7.It' a historical fact that that Samoans recieved tattoos from Fijians. 8.She got the Kirituhi in honour of Maori. The symbols >< >< >< similar to this on her hand represent the Polynesian stars that navigated Maori to on.

Yeah Nah, it is Samoan (: 

Do you want to contribute positively, sustainably, responsibly?

I've been following this project now to see what they're doing in Piu Village and I am impressed but also baffled that there isn't much uptake for these sustainable measures throughout the Pacific.

To me, this is what all the expensive talk fest is about, all the excessive regional conferences and decrees and communiques and so forth - they all TALK about seeking sustainable solutions - and yet, right here is one.
It is making a difference for a small community.
It is ideal in that it uses the invasive fue saiga - which is crippling our vegetation.
It is sustainable and enables people to work more efficiently, avoid using malala and wood for fire
Generates electricity
but most of all, when I saw this, I kept thinking of the men and women who are up at the crack of dawn and in the evenings trying to keep fires burning to feed a family.
C'mon, lets support this project.

I mentioned Piu village a few blog entries back - it is a beautiful village inland in Upolu. Very small community with only a few families (makafales) and one gorgeous little church, still in its original form (burnt coral structure). Most of the families have extensive plantations. The students who go to school in Apia are transported daily by the faifeau, who then volunteers his time in community projects before transporting them back at the day's end. 
What I find empowering about Piu?
The women preach at church....that's is congregational, but are so forward thinking that women - have this platform which is not permitted elsewhere. 
Behind Piu is a large waterfall that no one is allowed to access - unless you go through Piu, as they are the if you want, be extra nice, contribute to the project and then maybe you can check out the waterfall (:  

I am like, amazing.

according to my friend Nic.
We are doing an event next week and needed to use a drawing of a waka (vaa)....but needed it for people to write on....couldn't find anything on Google.....what?
Anyhow, I found a picture of the Gaualofa and used it to sketch this masterpiece on Paint,...omg,...check it out;
I. Am. Amazing!
Why wasn't I an architect????? or the designer for Emirates Team New Zealand? argh!
I missed my calling!
Back to wiping the baby's go'o.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Richard Moyle?

He recorded a lot of fagogo and chants by Samoans in the 70s - I want to meet him if he is still around.
I am tempted to just contact him and say "Please, I want to listen to some of those recordings"
But then again, I'm too palaai to do that.
So if anyone has access (legit) to some of those - can you let me know faamolemole?

pe'a o soifua pea si toeaina.

This requires no words,.....just an apetite,

Light lunch is served.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Latest Tuiga aptly called Itu o Taane because ....

Okay, so I have a confession to make.
It hurts my feelings when I have to recreate tuigas (make copies).
It takes so much work to do one, and for many reasons I feel like I am achieving nothing out of making copies. I have one chance to make something different....please please let me do this one differently. I will shoot myself if I have to do the same thing over and over again.

I love tying a story for each tuiga to its wearer.
So here is the latest, made for a tamaitai whose family are from Mauga. 
I was glad, because I love Mauga - if you ever go to Savaii again, go for drive.  It is the most unique, most interesting village you will ever visit. It is circular, and in the middle is a deep green hole where vegetation (plantations) grow. 
I'm sure Warren jopling will call me an idiot for saying hole because I should know better...but. 
Anyhow, in the middle of the hole, is a drinking well, which was introduced by the felelas.
(Omg, this is sounding like a real fagogo but it's a true story!)
Back in the 80s, at the base of the err, hole, was a kilikiti slab (malae kilikiki) and so we used to sit around the mouth of the err, ...oh, I found the word, amphitheatre ...a natural amphitheatre and we would watch the game at the bottom, and eat kolo (sugar cane). 
Mauga was also one of the last remaining villages that had a church which was roofed with thatches...but like most places in Samoa, that too is gone. 
Anyhow, this region is where the Catholic Church arrived (Malaeola ma Gafoaga), there is now a flash church at the entrance of the village which was erected to celebrate the church arrival in Samoa. 

So from the onset, I was already excited about this tuiga connection to a place I love, until she mentioned the other village her family is from, which is Avao.

Avao is where the palagi bible was translated to Samoan language.
My family is from Avao. Some of them anyway, the ones we all hugs and kiss at celebrations and then we spend the remaining years fighting them in court cases and appeals, just your average Samoan family. ....anyhow, yeah, origin of London Missonary Society, now EFKS). 

So 2 villages that have had influential impact of the  beginnings of the two religions in Samoa. 
Both are in the Itu o Tane district. 

There you have it....

Sunday, October 06, 2013

After 8 days off Facebook and blogging what have I learnt?

I've learnt what I have always known:
- I waste a whole lot of time on Facebook. I am a Facebook addict. I waste time that could better used.
- Without it (and Instragramm/Viper/Twitter), I'm more productive and I am ready to face my tasks instead of procrastinating...a bit.
- I relogged onto facebook and was taken aback by the over-sharing by people and over-exposure, for example., I am scrolling through newsfeed and I am looking at someone's crotch, someone who is suntanning....i see a lot of these lately, ...but really? you are proud of your flat belly and waxed vageegee so show the world?...well, I guess if i have a flat belly I would do that too....but it's been a while hah 

On the other hand, I missed out on events and gigs that were being shared on facebook that I would have liked to either attend or refer those who would have benefited.
I missed out on the updates from my loved ones who I haven't seen in years or in my nephew's case, (Manumailagi) I haven't met.
Every time I deactivate it means the pages that I am admin for are not being managed (work related) but am so glad my sister is looking after the tuiga page. Thanks Mex.
Speaking of tuigas, part of why I deactivated is because I had several to make and I was stressing out with the deadlines, but thank the Lord, I am done.

This upcoming week, my aim is to reduce my time on Facebook altogether, so I won't deactivate but will not be using it as much.

Thank You

Confessions of a FB Addict.

In related news, one of our recent grads, Letisia Levave is doing a directed study on the topic of "Samoans on Facebook" ....thank you to my friends who filled in her survey. 

I already drew conclusions "Samoans on Facebook is the most toxic combination ever" choohoooo.